News Next Door
Story by Brittany Tressler
Justin Matthew Jackson, 18, of Lower Pottsgrove, surrendered
to authorities Tuesday and will begin logging jail time credit as he awaits a
trial in connection with the death of Merinda Thompson,40, of Royersford who was struck while
jogging along North Lewis Road on March 4.
“My client has found it very difficult to live with himself and to live with the remorse and the regret that he’s felt since this tragic incident,” defense lawyer Martin P. Mullaney said on Jackson’s behalf, according to The Times Herald. “Every day all he thinks about is the fact that the vehicle he was driving killed that innocent jogger and it’s been very difficult for him to live with that."
Authorities allege that Jackson was texting and had smoked marijuana prior to the crash; Jackson was charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, unsworn falsification to authorities, possession of marijuana, recklessly endangering another person and prohibited text-based communications, among others.
Mullaney said that Jackson asked him if he could begin serving any type of prison sentence; Mullaney added that he believes the case will be resolved without a trial, or some sort of guilty plea.
The case is still set for trial; a pre-trial conference is set for Oct. 8.
“At this point there has been no negotiation and no agreement and this case is headed towards trial,” said Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley. “But hopefully, this does appear that Mr. Jackson is beginning to accept responsibility for the tragedy."
Since his arrest in March, Jackson had remained free on 10 percent of $100,000 bail.
"Today was a small, first step toward achieving justice for the victim and her family and that ultimately is our goal here,” Whalley said.